The Editor: As 2009 nears its end, it marks the completion of our second year of commercial business occupancy life/safety inspections. I would like to thank every business owner who, despite long hours and busy schedules, found the time to work with the staff of North Whatcom Fire & Rescue Service and make the necessary corrections to ensure the safety of their customers, their employees and themselves. The citizens of Blaine should be proud of the business community for keeping their businesses in compliance and help guarantee the safety of those they serve. I am proud of the work and dedication by the staff of NWFRS in enabling our inspection program to be such an overwhelming success. I would like to share just a handful of the many positive comments that business owners sent to North Whatcom. “Professional and courteous – It is important to AMS that we are compliant and safe.” – Automated Mailing Service. “Glad to feel like I am working in a safe environment” – Bear Hug Massage Therapy. “Thank you” – T.C. Trading. “Your inspection crew was very courteous and informative. They were quick to give helpful answers to my questions and took extra time to explain all of the violations.”– Border Cargo Services. “Skeptical at first about these inspections, but later saw the importance of them as it made me more aware of the safety & fire awareness of my premises - thank you.” – Mad-Don Auto Sales. “Thanks for all your help” – Bank of America. “Mail Boxes Plus will always be grateful to you for your thoughtfulness and consideration, thank you” – Mail Boxes Plus. “These NWFR people were great!” – Blaine Insurance. “Very professional, thanks” – Blaine Harbor Dental Again, I would like to thank all of our business owners for doing their part in making 2009 a much safer and enjoyable year to shop and live in Blaine. Please enjoy a safe and happy holiday season. Jim Bleecker, fire marshal Blaine
The Editor: I am sending my sincere thanks for the publicity The Northern Light gave me in the December 10 issue of your paper. Both book signings for my third western novel, “Follow the Sun,” were twice as successful as I hoped for. Your paper has a great readership. I want to thank Pacific Building Center and Blaine Bouquet for hosting the signings and helping in so many ways. A special thanks goes to Barbara Willmore, my friend and editor, who did the interview and made all the arrangements to make the signings such a success. After living in Blaine for over half a century, I’m still making new friends. I hope to continue doing so the next half century. Thanks again to all for your help. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Dick Vander Yacht Blaine
The Editor: It was Friday night, December 18. We were at Blaine school district’s PAC. The lobby was crowded. Folks filed in and took a seat. The house was packed. The lighted wreaths were on the walls, the stage was set with tree branches, harps and colored lights, then the lights were dimmed and the moon rose over the trees. The crowd was quiet and the sounds floated in from the hall. NOEL made their way to the stage carrying lanterns and playing beautiful music. The music, stories, poems and songs were just wonderful! Some were serious, some were fun and all were beautiful. For the first time, the talented Whatcom Chorale joined NOEL for the second half of the program and thrilled the audience with Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols. More than 60 of their members volunteered their time to join us for this program. The evening was a quiet respite in a hectic season – a truly wonderful way to spend an evening with family and really get into the holiday spirit. The Pacific Arts Association is working hard to bring quality entertainment to our beautiful Blaine Performing Arts Center and we want to thank the folks of Blaine and Whatcom County for your support. You are the best! Thanks to all who attended, all who brought cookies for intermission and all who support us. We hope you enjoyed NOEL and we hope to see you all on February 13 for a “Valentine Evening with Tingstad and Rumbel.” Suzanne Conrad Blaine
The Editor: Many thanks to everyone who took the time to put up outdoor lights to decorate their home and yard this holiday season. Because of you, the Blaine area is very merry and bright! Patt VanWanseele Blaine
The Editor: This year can be declared really unique. America has now dropped to a new low thanks to our brilliant legislators and their buddies the bankers combining to plunder and rob America (you and me) of the little dignity and savings that we have left. The way I understand it, and this is good, banks used the billions of dollars of bail out funds (your tax money – no risk to themselves) to generate a windfall of profits, then paid themselves handsomely, including obscene bonuses and “you, the savers,” were awarded less than 1 percent interest on your savings, neat, huh. This gets better, they then had their securities backed by you, the taxpayer, the bill is now $120 billion and counting (AIG). I am looking forward to the “banking overhaul bill,” isn’t that like closing the barn doors after the horses have bolted? As it turns out, Al Gore and his cohorts have bungled the climate mess. Now it appears that they selected only statistics that backed their imagined global warming and then this illustrious group made sure, using their influence, that any dissenters would not get on the same stage or be allowed to publish their findings on equal footing. The press played right into their hands. Now it looks like the global warming may just fade away. But I have a funny feeling that we are going to be stuck with higher energy prices nevertheless. Now we come to the health plan. I must have missed something, how can such a simple task generate 2,800 plus pages of dribble? And then to drop the public option and how about the little million dollar perks they snuck in. Shame on you, senators. It smells of another great big fat insurance company bail out, doesn’t it? I am getting a real warm and fuzzy feeling for 2010. Happy New Year. Peter Winterfield Birch Bay
Dear Editor: The 10th anniversary of the Christmas Dinner Box Project took place this year with 200 boxes for families in Blaine and Birch Bay. As before, this was accomplished through the generosity of local donors and businesses. More than 100 volunteers gave freely of their time and energy to collect the food items and distribute the boxes. Volunteers included local Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts as well as high school Students with a Purpose and dozens of adults. More than 900 people had a generous dinner because of local people helping local families in the giving spirit of Christmas this year. On behalf of all these families, I want to thank all who made this kind and generous gift available. You didn’t do it to get your name in the paper, but you know who you are. May God bless you as you have blessed others. Charles Gibson Northwood Alliance Church Blaine
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